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Original Article

Clinical Presentation and the Outcome of Therapy in a Cohort of Patients with Methadone Toxicity in Iran

Nastaran Eizadi-Mood, Ahmad Yaraghi, Zahra Sharifian, Awat Feizi, Mahrang Hedaiaty, Ali Mohammad Sabzghabaee.

Background: Agonist maintenance therapy with methadone is amongst the preferred remedies for treating opioid dependence and is increasingly supported by the regional governments in this part of the world. In this study we have investigated the clinical manifestations and factors affecting the outcome of therapy in patients with methadone poisoning in a Middle-Eastern (Iranian) referral tertiary care University hospital. Methods: In this prospective and descriptive-analytic study which was done in a tertiary care and referral University hospital in Iran (2012-2013) all of the admitted patients with a clear and reliable history of methadone poisoning (n=433) were included and demographic data, Clinical status on admission including Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score, time elapsed from ingestion to hospital admission, average dose of naloxone used, any history of psychiatric disorder, type of toxic exposure, co ingestion of other medication, hospitalization time and the outcome were recorded and statistically analyzed. Results: The average length of hospital stay was 33 26 hours. 80.1% of patients had ingested methadone alone, and 90.3% survived. Complications were pulmonary edema (7%), aspiration pneumonia (1.4%), generalized tonic colonic seizure (0.9%), and renal failure (0.5%). GCS, systolic blood pressure and respiratory rate were lower in fatal cases and GCS had prognostic value for the outcome of therapy in methadone intoxicated patients. Patients with higher GCS on admission had better outcome [OR =0.47 (95% CI: 0.38-0.580); P value< 0.0001]. Conclusion: Admission time GCS score maybe considered as an important predictor for the outcome of therapy in methadone poisoning.

Key words: Methadone, Overdose, Opiate Substitution Therapy

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